Proper, responsible use of seed treatments advised

Extension, industry officials urge farmers to use seed treatments wisely.
Extension, industry officials urge farmers to use seed treatments wisely. | Contributed photo
Farmers are being reminded to follow best-management practices when it comes to seed treatments in preparation for planting season.

Erin Hodgson, Iowa State University Extension entomologist, said best practices involve proper use of the talc powder used for lubrication in planters with seeds that have been treated. Some research suggests the seed treatment can come off in the powder and affect bees.

Hodgson recommends against overusing powder and, advises that you refrain from planting on a windy day and recommends that you dispose of any leftover powder in the bottom of the planter box.

The proper amount of talc powder should also be used, Hodgson said.

Farmers should follow the CARE method when using seed treatments, Kerry Grossweiler, Bayer CropScience Seedgrowth's equipment and coatings product manager, said.

Grossweiler currently is recommending Bayer's Fluency Agent, which helps lubricate treated seeds and planters.

The agent reduces dust by 90 percent and reduces the buildup in planters, Grossweiler said.

Hodgson said she is currently watching for resistance issues caused by corn and soybean treatments using a similar ingredient.

“It is the same chemistry,” Hodgson said.

Hodgson said farmers should limit the use of treatments unless it is necessary. She also said a recent EPA report indicated there was no yield increase in treated soybeans.

Jennifer Riggs, Bayer CropScience product development manager, said work continues on developing seed treatments to control pathogens and increase nutrient intake.

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